Signing off a letter is an important aspect of letter writing particularly if you are corresponding with an Arabic-speaking friend or colleague. Gestures are important in all aspects of Arabic communication and equally so in letters, emails and correspondence.
The Arabs pride themselves on their eloquence. In fact, the word eloquent (بليغ / baligh) is from the same root as ‘masculine maturity’ and ‘exaggeration’. So eloquence and exaggeration are closely related in Arabic communication and rhetoric.
Whereas a European might sign off an email with ‘Kind regards’ or ‘Mit freundlichen Grüßen’, the Arab writer will want to use words such as ‘abundance’ or ‘infinite’ and describe things as ‘surpassing excellence’ as well as rejoice ‘beautiful cooperation’. Even these translations don’t give sufficient justice to eloquence and gravity of Arabic signatures or sign-offs. Naturally, any exaggeration shouldn’t be taken too seriously since, in the Arabic culture, it is the gesture that counts.
Signing formal letters and emails in Arabic
تقبلوا فائق الإحترام و التقدير
taqabalou waafir al-iHtiraam wa al-taqdeer
Accept an abundance of respect and appreciation.
Here you will see two important words in Arabic. iHtiraam comes the root h-r-m which conveys the concept of that which is sacrosanct, explaining how something can be forbidden (i.e. haraam) but also sacrosanct and respected.
The word, taqdeer, comes from the root q-d-r, and also has significance in the Islamic faith with root’s concept conveying fatalism and pre-destiny. From this root comes the word taqdeer implying great appreciation.
شاكرين لكم على حسن تعاونكم
shaakareen lakum hasan ta3aawunikum
Grateful for your good co-operation
Many will recognise that the first word (shaakareen) is related to shukran (thank you). In the final word, the root 3-w-n relates to help or assistance. In both cases the -kum suffix (that you see in lakum and ta3aawunikum) indicates the plural from of ‘you’. Although this message refers to ‘you’, it is therefore applicable to individuals (men, women) and groups.
مع خالص التقدير و الاحترام
ma3 khalis al-taqdeer wa al-iHtiraam
With sincere appreciation and respect
Here again we see the words taqdeer and iHtiraam. Remember that the H is a strong H when pronouncing the latter. The word khalis evokes the concept of pure, sincere and faithful.
مع جزيل الشكر و التقدير
ma3 jazeel ash-shukr wa al-taqdeer
With great thanks and appreciation
The word jazeel in this context means an ‘abundance of’. You may hear this phrase slightly differently on a day-to-day basis as shukran jazeelan (many thanks).
تفضلوا فائق التقدير و الإحترام
tafaDDalou faayik al-taqdeer wa al-iHtiraam
Yours sincerely and respectfully
The word tafaDDalou is difficult to translate since there is no true English equivalent. It can be used in numerous situations from asking someone to take a sit at a table, to enter a building or as we see here, it can also be used to sign a letter. In English, the closest meaning would be, ‘if you please’ when making a gesture – or ‘yours truly’ when taking a bow!
Arabic signatures for informal emails (to friends)
Informal emails, letters and messages can be signed with these signatures, followed by your name.
Salutations to you
The English word, salutations, comes from the original Old French (and previously Latin) salus / salut root, meaning health. In a similar way, taHayyaatee comes from the root (h-y-u) meaning ‘to live’.
Yours (pl.) lovingly
This comes from the root h-b which also has the famous derivative habibi (darling).
Here we see the root k-l-S again but in a different derivative.
Letters of appreciation
There are a few variations of wishing others well in the future.
تمنياتي لكم بالتوفيق
tamannyaati lakum b-il-tawfeeq
Successful wishes to you / Best wishes
تمنياتي لكم مزيد من التقدم و النجاح
tamannyaati lakum mazeed min al-taqaddum wa al-najaah
Wishes to you for greater progress and success
تمنياتي لكم بالتوفيق الدائم
tamannyaati lakum b-il-tawfeeq al-dayim
Wishes to you of eternal success
So, we have learnt a bit more about the Arabic culture and the Arabic language through these fascinating signatures.
Hopefully these signatures will bring you infinite and abundant success and bring ethereal tears of joy in the recipient!
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